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This Traditional Log Home Was Built From Forest Fire Trees



In the mountains of California near Big Bear Lake, this traditional log home is more than a grand display of architecture. Each Western Whitewood log is a remnant of a forest fire or other natural causes—dead-standing trees that continue to stand for up to five years after they die.  Mother Nature does the best job of insuring a dry, stable log. 

This means that, not only is each timber full of natural history and character, but the log home is also as sturdy and stable as can be. Often times, log homes are made from live wood that is kiln or air dried, which can still leave a high percent of  moisture behind; the remaining moisture leaves the wood over time and the logs shrink, causing numerous structural problems.

With naturally dried wood, a log home like this is more structurally stable than most and also more environmentally friendly—for each dead-standing tree helicoptered out of the forest, seven were planted in its place.

In addition to its stability and green-minded design, the home’s character and celebration of its natural materials can be seen in every room and around every corner.

All of the home’s trusses are scribed, not flat-cut, which means each log is shaped to meet another and fit around it—a meticulous undertaking.

The home’s entry makes a strong statement of its traditional Rocky Mountain style—a bear is etched into the door, flagstone flooring abounds, and supporting the wrought-iron stair railing are large character logs, each with prominent burned sections.

A flagstone fireplace compliments the great room’s tall ceiling and upper loft, supported by a handful of character logs. These vertical focal points have become favorites of the homeowners over time.

The live-edge dining table sits in a turret, surrounded by large windows. Each vertical log of this nook was crafted to meet at a point in the center of the turret’s ceiling.

The turret sits on the second story of the home’s rear, inviting the surrounding views indoors with a touch of contemporary style.

An upstairs bedroom boasts built-in cabinets as well as purlins—horizontal beams supporting the roof—with knotty pine over top.

What once was charred forest has been transformed into a beautifully crafted traditional log home—with bursts of contemporary flair, like its large-windowed views of the nearby mountains and lake—echoing the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes.

Dave Fullerton is the sales manager of Rocky Mountain Homes, a Montana-based company that specializes in building dream log homes. Contact Dave at 406-375-1833.

Content for this article provided by Rocky Mountain Homes. 

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